Regulatory Overview

About the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program

The FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative that offers expedited clearance processes for eligible goods to pre-authorized importers, carriers and drivers.

FAST harmonizes the customs procedures of Canada and the U.S., allowing the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to focus their energies on trade of a higher or unknown risk. With fewer border inspections and dedicated FAST lanes, compliance costs are reduced.

In Canada, FAST builds on the Customs Self-Assessment (CSA) program, whose main principles include pre-approval and self-assessment. FAST also builds on programs under which companies must adopt measures to ensure the end-to-end security of their supply chains: Partners in Protection in Canada and Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) in the U.S.

Although programs such as FAST and CSA are independently voluntary, companies are finding it advantageous to be part of a harmonized, streamlined customs clearance process. Based on your identification as a low-risk business, trade compliance is verified away from the border, clearance information requirements are reduced, and where feasible, dedicated lanes are available for FAST members to minimize the time spent at the border, where shipments will be greeted with bar code identification and a reduced rate of physical examinations.

As you can imagine, getting the eligibility requirements straight for a large-scale program like FAST can be daunting for the first-time applicant. EDI Customs Brokers can make the application process a clear and straightforward one. With our in-depth experience with customs procedures, we can help your company prepare thoroughly for a FAST application. With MSR's industry-leading import solution, Visual Importer™ your company can be compliant in advance of this and other preferred CBSA programs.